What is the first train from Sevenoaks to London (Monday to Friday) on which off-peak tickets are valid?
The 09:19 to London Charing Cross is the first train for which off-peak day returns to “London Terminals” are valid. However first train time for off-peak tickets to other destinations may be different: see our longer article.
Can I use a National Rail ‘London Terminals’ paper ticket to exit / enter Waterloo East via the automatic gates at Southwark Underground station?
No longer. TfL withdrew this long-standing facility in 2014. It was then re-introduced while Charing Cross trains were not stopping at London Bridge during the building, but it has been withdrawn again. To exit via Southwark Underground station you need to use a Pay As You Go Oystercard or a contactless payment card at the TfL barriers. If you exit Southwark station within 10 minutes you will not be charged. Alternatively you can buy a Southwark platform ticket for 20p.
To which stations are Southeastern ‘London Terminals’ tickets valid?
City Thameslink [CTK], London Blackfriars [BFR], London Bridge [LBG], London Cannon Street [CST], London Charing Cross [CHX], London Waterloo [WAT], London Waterloo East [WAE], London Victoria [VIC], Vauxhall [VXH]
‘London Terminals’ tickets are not valid for travel from the south to Farringdon or St Pancras. They are only valid as far as City Thameslink. You need to buy a special ticket for Farringdon or St Pancras; the rail-only ticket is much cheaper than the “Sevenoaks to Underground Zone 1” ticket.
North of London there are ‘London Thameslink’ tickets that are valid to all the stations in the Thameslink “core”: St Pancras, Farringdon, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, London Bridge and Elephant & Castle. These are not currently available from the Sevenoaks area.
Can I travel in First Class if I have a Standard Class ticket but find that no Standard Class seats are available?
Normally, only with the prior permission of the Conductor, or if First Class has been declassified. However on Thameslink trains some of the First Class accommodation is always declassified south of the Thames.
Holders of “Priority” cards cannot use First Class, even if no Standard Class seats are available. However women over 20 weeks’ pregnant can get a “Letter of Authorisation” that allows use of First Class if no Standard Class seats are available: see our detailed article on this.
If I am travelling to the North or West of Great Britain on a specific train from London, and my local train to London is delayed, do I have to buy a new ticket?
In theory, no.
The National Conditions of Travel Clause 9.4 says:
Where you are using a Ticket valid on a specific train service or train services (such as an ‘advance’ Ticket) and you miss a service because a previous connecting train service was delayed, you will be able to travel on the next train service provided by the Train Company with whom you were booked without penalty.
That’s the theory. However the rail companies have not been forthcoming about how this procedure works – it seems to depend on the goodwill of the barrier staff and the conductors on the second train. There have been particular difficulties with Virgin West Coast at Euston. You can try to get a note from Southeastern staff proving the delay, but they can be reluctant to give it (the GB Train Companies have resisted the requirement on continental train operators to stamp tickets if there is a delay).
In theory you can take a later train even if the previous, delayed, train was on a different ticket (for instance a season from Sevenoaks to London). But it can be easier if the ticket is an end-to-end one, say from Sevenoaks to Edinburgh. If you have any experience of this one way or the other, please let us know using the comment box below.
(reviewed 29 January 2019)